I have a small freezer, and with my family of four it gets jam-packed fairly quickly. Waffles, strawberries, Popsicles, rice, sausage, pesto — you name it, it’s in there. Between the fact that everything’s frozen solid and all that bulky packaging, it can be hard to find what I need or even see what’s in there.
That was, until I made this one simple rule: No boxes. Ever.
Why? Because there is nothing more frustrating than a container the size of a shoebox with two (two!) chicken nuggets in it taking up almost half the space on a single shelf. Argh!
Whew. Had to get that off my chest.
Now, I’m not opposed to structure in the freezer. Bins — that is, containers with open tops and rigid sides — can be a real tool in there. But a box for every kind of food stuff? No thank you. Yes, I realize that frozen food often comes in boxes. (Even my whole-wheat frozen croissants from FreshDirect come in cute little brown boxes.) But just because you bought them in a box doesn’t mean they have to stay in that box forever.
I’ve gotten in the habit of taking stuff out of their boxes as I get home from the grocery store. Before I put the frozen stuff away, I open up the boxes and put the contents in a zip-top baggie or I just ditch the box and keep, say, the waffles in the bag they came in. If I’m worried I’ll need help when it comes to cooking or reheating, I’ll just cut out the cooking instructions and tape the panel to the bag (or just write the directions on a strip of masking tape).
Related: The Most Important Tool for an Organized Freezer
With all my foods in bags, I can group them together in bins or stack them by food type. And I have so much more space in my freezer that I can actually see what’s in there — or sometimes, more importantly, what’s not in there.
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What about you, do you take your frozen food out of the box?